Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Thursday, the second snow dusting this winter on the distant hills. The Dalles, Oregon.

Earlier this week I chided myself for getting too sucked into work to take a moment and step outside to capture the first snow dusting of this winter on the Washinton hills across the river from us. Not many weeks ago part of my morning ritual was to muck around in the garden before starting work. 

Cropped view: Google fog plumes up over the Columbia River
with Washington’s snowy hilltop in the background. The Dalles, Oregon.

 A few hours later, I grabbed my phone cam, only to find out I was too late. The snow was gone. The beauty around is so often ephemeral. The next time, I promised myself when beauty called, I would not delay. Promise kept; you can now enjoy the views, too.

Sunrise over The Dalles, viewed from our front yard.

This Friday morning, a glimmer of orange from the east caught my eye out our front living room window. Enjoy the view! Due to its hillside setting, ours is one of many of The Dalles’ territorial viewpoints.

Before long, the view would become far less idyllic.

View later that day from our porch…
The downside to our awesome view is our steep driveway. 

Long before we bought our home and moved in, the driveway was already cracked and slick from an improper finish for a place that gets icy. That’s one reason when we recently replaced our broken exterior water pipes from the main to our house, we opted to slice through our driveway to install them. It also allowed us to sidestep dealing with the gas lines running along the west side of our house, the side closest to the main.

I already fell once two weeks ago, after water from the rain froze, making the surface of our driveway too slippery to maintain a solid grip. Fortunately, thanks to my ample posterior padding, only my dignity was damaged.

Despite the expense—between what would have been five to six months of our cruising budget for everything—we decided to remove, regrade and replace our driveway.

Dust clouds from the contractors removing our current driveway.

It’s a dirty job.

The noise wasn’t an issue until the concrete saw went to work reducing the size of the concrete chunks that needed to be removed and neatening up the edge between the garage slab and our future drive. Its screechy whine reverberated across the garage floor, its noise easily penetrating the shared wall between it and my home office. I work at home as a caseworker and mediator, conducting mediation over Zoom. 
I was mid-mediation when the sawing ensued. I beat a hasty retreat to the opposite end of the house. Wayne hunkered in a snooze on his Lazyboy chair, recovering from a cold in his man cave; that left the bedroom for me. After that, my kindly neighbors Jim and Sharon graciously let me use their quiet den to complete my final and fourth mediation of the day.
And then…

The view outside our porch this morning.
What a difference a day makes!
Completing the driveway will have to wait until the snow melts and the temperatures are above freezing for 24 hours for the concrete to set properly. Currently, that looks about a week out.
The birds are taking snow baths today. Backyard view; The Dalles.

I picked a color I believed would look good with the pool in our backyard during the summer, and would also look bright and cheerful in the snow. Now it’s experienced both. 

We’re still sussing out where to keep these until we’ll use them again in another five months or so.
As for you, wherever you are, whatever the weather, step outside and appreciate and perhaps capture the moment. Whether beauty or ugliness, it will be gone, sometimes in the blink of an eye.
Location Location
Home is now a home with a view of the Columbia River. We are not currently boating, but we can’t exist too far from water.
Shiva is on my lap, “assisting” me with this morning’s post.
She’s much more of a lap kitty in cold weather.